With refpect to the work of gospel-minifters, it is evidently confined to this facred building; and may be reduced to the following views.

1. It is their bufinefs to point out the foundation, as laid,―Jesus Christ, in his perfon, God Man ;in his doctrines, which are all wholfome, found, and according to godlinefs;-in his life, which was holy, harmless, and undefiled;-in his death, which was propitiatory, and meritorious ;-in his office, as Mediator between God and man, the Father's fervant, and the finner's furety;-in his purchase, as comprehending all special and faving bleffings, and as rendering even the common bleffings of life covenant bleffings to his people ;-in his interceffion, as fecuring the difpenfation of grace and glory, and every good thing to his church;-in his law, as the rule of life;-in his spirit, as the efficient caufe of holiness and new obedience; -in his rightecufnefs, as the finners only plea, for the acceptance of their perfons and fervices, with God;--and in his exclufive authority and ability to fave.


2. It is the business of gofpel-minifters, to aim at bringing finners to Chrift as the foundation of his church.To fhew them their guilt, mifery, and danger, without Chrift; the impoffibility of recovering themselves; the fuitableness, freeness, and fulness of the gospel falvation; the nature, alfo, and extent of the gospel offer;-together with fuch motives as may most probably have influence upon them.

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3. It is the business of gospel ministers, to aim at the advancement of this building, by using the means of promoting the work of grace in true converts; to reprefent the exceeding broadnefs of the divine law, and their obligations to it; to fhew how far they are from having attained, or being perfect ;-to point out the connection between de


grees of grace here, and glory hereafter; to illuluftrate the promises and words of grace, by which they may perfect holiness in the fear of God; to direct them in ftraits; encourage them under trials; and, by every mean competent for them, to bring them forward in the way to heaven.

4. It is the business of gospel minifters to fuperintend the building; or, in the exercife of church difcipline and government, to. guard against every thing which may mar it's progrefs, or fully it's beauty; more especially, against every thing which may tend to pull down what is already built, and, thereby, to render the hopes of faithful builders, or true church members abortive.

5. It is the bufinefs of gospel minifters, not only to aim at the things which have been mentioned, but, in the exercife of their ministry, to observe the order in which thefe things fhould proceed,left, by inverting the order, they fubvert the great end in view.

If, for example, minifters of the gospel should begin their dealings with unconverted fouls, by the exercife of difcipline; or, even by reprefenting the duties of holy obedience, without recommending Chrift as the foundation, and directing them to the improvement of him; they would do no better, than a builder who fhould raise a fuperftructure before he laid the foundation.

Whereas, by beginning with endeavours to point out the perfonal excellence, and mediatorial glory of Chrift, and to bring finners to believe in him, for pardon and acceptance ;-the ends of heart holi nefs and external obedience are fcripturally-abfolutely fecured.

All the application I fhall make of thefe hints, to my dear fellow labourers here present, is, in the words of our Lord, "If ye know these things,


happy are ye, if ye do them," John xiii. 17.and in the words of Paul, "I fpeak as to wife men; judge ye what I say," 1 Cor. x. 15.

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Reverend, dear Brother,

With whatever pleasure and advantage I have, oftner than once, learned at your feet-it is not without fome degree of concern, that any exhortation I am capable of, fhould be immediately addrefled to you.

Obedience, however, to my fuperiors in the Lord, and regard to the truft I have received from our common Mafter, animate my refolution in the discharge even of this difficult duty.

Were you, dear fir, in my place, and I in your's, I can easily imagine, with what warmth of heart you would defcant on the importance of a paftoral truft,-as committed to me, by the chief Shepherd; -as connected with the falvation of precious fouls: and a truft, for the difcharge whereof, I behoved to account, at the end of the days.

I can imagine, alfe, with what propriety you would illustrate the advantage of a continued and growing concern about my own foul-that I might, thereby, learn how to deal with others :and that, after preaching the gospel to my fellowfinners, I myself might not be a caft-away.

I can imagine, from your known attachment to the interests of holiness, with what zeal you would recommend the tenderness and circumfpection of life upon me, which would be neceffary to vouch the truth of my own character, as a Chriftian,-to enforce the doctrines I should teach,—and to engage my hearers in the love and practice of their duty.

I can, likewife, imagine, that, in the fuppofed change of place, you would defcribe, with that accuracy and precision which are familiar to you, the variety, as to matter and manner both, in the exercife of my ministry,-which the state, the temper, the ftatic., the abilities, the age, and other circumftances, common or peculiar, of my flock, might require.

Would you not, my dear brother, endeavour to infpire me with a fuperior love of the truth;with a concern to understand it,to diftinguish it from error,-to preach it in feafon and out of feafon,-to contend earnestly for it,-and to fix my attention, more especially, to fuch truths as might be overlooked or exploded by others!

Would you not endeavour to roufe up the use of any influence, and employment of any talents I was poffeft of, in the exercife of my judicative-capacity,

toward the fuppreffion of vice and herefy, toward the tranfmiffion of a found and faithful miniftry ;and toward the prefervation or recovery of all the prerogatives of Zion's King, and all the rights and privileges of Zion's children?

Yes. I know that my reverend friend would do fo-and do it, without allowed digreffion into their steps, who bound heavy burdens, and grievous to be born, upon others, while they touched them not with one of their fingers. Luke xi. 46.

And, now, as the conclufion of the whole matter,-know, reverend and dear brother, that, in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jefus Chrift, who hath now given pastors and teachers, as he formerly gave prophets and apoftles to his body the church; and by appointment of the presbytery of Paisley, my immediate conftituents, I hereby devolve the


paftoral charge of this parish of Renfrew upon you; -calling, befeeching and requiring you, in the fpirited language of fcripture, "To take heed

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unto yourself, and to all this flock, over which "the holy Ghoft hath made you an overfeer, to "feed the church of God, which he hath purchased "with his own blood," Acts xx. 28.-To "take "the over fight thereof, not by constraint, but "willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready "mind; neither as being a lord over God's heritage, "but being an enfample to the flock," 1 Pet. v. 2, 3-To" take heed to the miniftry, which thou "haft received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it," Col. iv. 7.-To "take heed unto thyfelf and to "thy doctrine; and to continue in them," 1 Tim. iv. 16.

Finally, "I charge thee," dear brother, "before "God, and the Lord Jefus Chrift, and the elect

angels, that thou obferve these things, without "preferring one before another, doing nothing by "partiality," Tim. v. 21. Again," I give thee "charge, in the fight of God, who quickeneth all

things; and Jefus Chrift, who, before Pontius "Pilate, witnessed a good confeffion before many "witneffes, that thou keep this commandment, "without fpot, unrebukable, until the appearing "of our Lord Jefus Chrift." And again, "O fir,

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keep that which is committed to thy trust. "Grace be with thee. Amen," 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14, 20, 21.

The addrefs I fhould, last of all, make to the constituent members of this congregation, shall be confined likewife to a few fcripture exhortations, that I be not farther tedious to my audience.--"Receive him, therefore, in the Lord, with all gladness; and hold fuch in reputation,” Phil. ii.

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